His Only Wife
Peace Adzo Medie
AN OBSERVER, TIME MAGAZINE & NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR, 2020
A REESE WITHERSPOON’S BOOK CLUB PICK
‘Vivid, witty and utterly absorbing.’ Daily Mail
‘Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.’
Afi Tekple is a young seamstress living in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother. Afi’s future doesn’t seem to hold much excitement. Until, that is, she is offered a life-changing opportunity – a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo.
She barely knows Elikem, but that seems a small price to pay for a marriage that could offer her family financial security, as well as the key to the glitzy city lifestyle she’s always wanted. But when Afi arrives in Accra, she realises that her fairy-tale ending might not be all that she’d hoped for. Now she must balance the often conflicting roles of wife, daughter, niece and sister-in-law, without losing sight of herself.
Bursting with warmth and humour, His Only Wife is a witty, smart and moving comedy-of-manners about the search for independence, and the rules that might have to be broken along the way.
'I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast... It's all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.' -- Reese Witherspoon 'Mesmerising... This is not a book to read with one eye on a beach volleyball tournament; it's a story to soak up in silence, on a long, cloudy afternoon when you have time to think.' * New York Times * 'A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.' * Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King * 'I couldn't put down His Only Wife, which made me nostalgic for the food, frills, and folly of Ghana. Peace Adzo Medie's sentences are packed with muscle, beauty, and hilarity. Even though I was rooting for Afi's happiness in her arranged marriage, I didn't see that beauty of a twist coming at the end.' -- Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Deep Blue Between 'A Cinderella story set in Ghana... A Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa, with a healthy splash of feminism.' * Kirkus (starred review) * 'In her debut novel, Medie writes with a precise rhythm that builds the reader's anticipation. Themes like deception, ambition, love, and values drench the pages with conflict that evolves into an emotional rollercoaster.' * Booklist * 'This stirring tale sings when Afi learns to flex her limited power.' * Publishers Weekly * 'Afi's charm makes her an empowering example of modern womanhood... Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.' * Foreword Reviews * 'Medie gives Afi a voice that winningly combines insecurity, wisdom and dignity... The dramas of Afi's marriage and various family conflicts offer an entertaining plot rich with humour, but it is the story of the strong woman in a challenging and changing world that will capture readers' hearts. His Only Wife is a memorable novel of personal growth and choosing one's own destiny... [A] winning debut.' * Shelf Awareness * 'A fierce and funny debut novel... A deeply engrossing chronicle of contemporary Ghanaian womanhood.' -- Minneapolis Star Tribune 'A fierce and funny first novel...[that] cleverly upends a Cinderella story into a tale of feminism.' -- People 'A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose... Medie depicts a vivid and dazzling Accra, and it's impossible not to root for Afi as she finds her footing within it.' -- BuzzFeed 'In her sparkling debut novel, Ghanaian writer and academic Peace Adzo Medie uses humour, candour and feminism to examine womanhood, marriage and agency in modern Ghana.' -- Ms. Magazine 'A witty Cinderella portrait of modern life and love.' -- Parade 'A unique and unapologetic marriage story that shines with honesty, humanity, power and grace: once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. Medie's urgent, intimate voice is exactly what the world needs right now.' -- Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People's History of Heaven 'Combining heart and humour with a hearty dose of feminism, Peace Adzo Medie's debut is an illuminating and empowering read with a heroine you will remember for a long time.' -- Book Reporter 'A fierce and funny study of modern womanhood within Ghanaian culture.' -- Cosmopolitan: Best Books of Autumn, 2020 'Medie belongs to a long line of talented women writers who show [Ghana's] rich culture and history to be bountiful sources of inspiration.' -- Book Browse 'This rich, rewarding debut novel follows a Ghanaian seamstress - forced into an arranged marriage with a wealthy man she has never met - on her journey of self-discovery.' -- New York Times, Notable Books of 2020 'A refreshingly modern Ghanaian love story.' -- Marie Claire 'Bursting with warmth, humour and richly drawn characters you can't help but root for.' -- Cosmopolitan 'With characters making questionable decisions and a rather brilliant ending, this is a good old-fashion book club read that'll leave you arguing about character motivations and morals.' -- Stylist
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?